I had just walked out of a meeting this morning
(Photo credit: rkramer62)
and was standing talking to some other folks on the team when something with started dripping down my sport coat. Despite it being a warm morning I was very certain it wasn’t sweat. What I was hoping was that it was some excess moisture dripping off a pipe but of course it wasn’t. It was bird poop. Well more specifically I think it was bird pee although frankly it doesn’t much matter.
As I was standing there frantically trying to wipe it off my coat, my compatriots informed me that it was good luck. Apparently in some cultures a bird pooping on you is exactly that. I’m not so sure it is in my culture – more likely it’s 180 degrees from that. In checking out their notion I also found that many people believe this to be a major sign of wealth coming from heaven. Seem to me it’s a sign of an expensive cleaning bill coming. In any event it did trigger a business thought.
Too many businesses spend their time standing under wires hoping bird will poop on them, figuratively speaking. They would almost rather be lucky than good. Rather than looking for wires filled with birds, they’d be way better off spending time looking at analytics, social mentions, and their own financial statements. Spending money on bird seed trying to attract the birds and the luck they bring is probably not as worthwhile as spending it on an all hands on deck brainstorm. You know the ones – where no idea is a bad one and outrageous thinking is encouraged.
I’ll let you all know if some great piece of luck follows – there wasn’t a large check in the mail today however. In the meantime, remember what Hemingway told his son – you make your own luck. Good business advice – and much cleaner than depending on the birds!
Friday the 13th! Scary for some. Since we try to do food stuff here on Fridays, I thought I’d remind everyone about a few food related superstitions to help you avoid trouble while dining today. Continue reading
So it’s 1492 and you’re sitting around Europe fretting about the fact that the Ottoman Turks have disrupted your normal trade routes to India and China. You’ve got this flat Earth you’re trying to navigate but the Italians and the Arabs call different distances a mile so it’s kind of hard to figure out how you’re going to keep bringing in those supplies of opium spices and silk. And then, some crazy Italian named Colombo shows up in the Spanish Court. Continue reading
This post isn’t about baseball or diversity, although The Mahatma, as Mr. Rickey was known, was an expert in both. Hard for someone who is a lifelong Yankees fan (stop it – I can hear you from here) to admit, but true.
Nope. This post is about the start of the Stanley Cup Finals and one of my former employers, the NHL. The NHL has set a number of records on the business side this year – higher TV ratings among them. There are some who say that the outdoor game (Winter Classic – sorry!) and its huge TV viewing (for something not football) on New Year’s Day distorted the season’s numbers. There are others who say that the good fortune of having Detroit, Dallas, Philly, and the Pens in your final four, all teams with good Canadian appeal yet no Canadian team to hurt US TV, was a stroke of luck. The fact that the US teams are from BIG markets and not smallish ones helps too. Lucky!
Well, to quote an expression that was more popular in Mr. Rickey’s time, pshaw. In general, pro sports teams ARE in big markets and the past few years have been the aberration. Giving fans an alternative to college football, even on its biggest day, isn’t a bad idea and hockey doesn’t need huge numbers to be successful.
How about we all acknowledge that this “luck” may be due to solutions that reflect careful thinking and long-term planning? It’s very easy to duct tape something together and say it’s fixed. Really fixing things takes time and maybe the odd banged thumb here and there. That’s how we try to approach solutions with our clients.
With no team in the Final from west of the eastern time zone, the scenario isn’t perfect but the residue of design that’s ready to start is pretty appealing none the less.
Luck is the residue of design.
Branch Rickey, Lecture title, 1950
US baseball administrator (1881 – 1965)